I am one of the few people in America with no social media footprint; I’m not on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/or even LinkedIn (which I dumped once I retired). However, I do *Yelp.

Yup, you heard me; I am a Yelper. I love writing restaurant reviews, especially positive ones, because I find so many negative ones. When I really love the food or service or whatever, I write a positive review because I would like other people to have the same good experience that I did.

Whenever I see a bad review for a place I’ve liked, I have to wonder if the person writing it was just trying to score a free meal or was in a bad mood. Yes, it’s important to both customers and business owners to get the straight skinny on what is right or wrong with their establishment. But I feel that a lot of yelpers out there are just griping about foolish things such as:

  • “The waitress/waiter didn’t fill up my water glass when I snapped my fingers and whistled.”
  • **”I ordered sushi and it was RAW! Who eats raw fish?!”
  • “This restaurant didn’t serve Coke products, only Pepsi, so I didn’t tip my waitress/waiter.”
  • “I have a severe gluten allergy that could kill me. When I asked my waitress/waiter whether or not their bread had gluten in it, they told me that it did. Didn’t they know that I have a severe gluten allergy?!”
  • “I ordered the special burger at our local Burger Doodle and it wasn’t the same size that they show on the signs (burger on the sign was about 12″ by 12″).”
  • “I ordered a lettuce, cheese and tomato sub. When I got it, there was no meat on it! (Um, perhaps you might have asked for meat as well as the lettuce, cheese and tomato??)”
  • “This meal was TERRIBLE! I’m not paying for it!” (Then why did you eat it all?)”

I get it that bad service, bad food, bad language, etc. are not cool when you are spending your hard-earned cash somewhere. But if I don’t have a good experience at a restarant I just don’t come back. That’s my review. It’s like suing someone; unless something is so bad that it warrants letting the public know about it, just don’t engage.

The only bad review I wrote was when my two best friends and I had lunch at a well-known Italian “garden” restaurant. We had ordered a special cheese dip appetizer prior to our lunch. It tasted exactly like melted cheese mixed with a generous dose of Pine-Sol.

We let our waiter know, and asked that he have the chef taste it in case we had lost our minds and taste buds. While it was taken off our bill, no one apologized, no one confessed, and, evidently, no one cared. So I wrote my one and only bad Yelp review in the hope of saving taste buds everywhere.

Reviews, especially restaurant ones, can be very helpful. Just say that you have never been to Maine and have never had a lobster roll. You are making this trip for the very first time, and you really want that real Maine experience, part of which is a fabulous lobster roll.

So you start looking up all the restaurants that serve lobster rolls. If you are also an onion rings fanatic, you’ll want to know if the rings will be as good as the lobster rolls. So before going in blind, check out the Yelp reviews.

As a born Mainer (which gives me the right to call myself a “Maine-ah”), I can tell you right off the bat what constitutes a great lobster roll:

  1. The lobster meat is fresh, as in right out of the trap, yanked off the ocean floor that day.
  2. The lobster roll should be cut in good bite-size chunks, and mixed with enough mayo to hold it together, and maybe a pinch of celery salt (I also put pepper on mine).
  3. The roll itself should be a good hot dog roll, toasted and buttered.
  4. The lobster roll should be presented with a goodly portion of potato chips and a few pickles.
  5. Also, if you want to have a good Maine drink to pair with the lobster roll, get yourself a ***Moxie to go with it.

What does not belong on or with a good lobster roll is melted butter. Period. If you want butter on your lobster, then don’t fool around; just order a boiled lobster and crack it open. Dip the meat in melted butter. (Oh yes, and just so you know: real Mainers don’t wear lobster bibs, only the tourists.)

But by all means, check the reviews. You should be able to separate the good ones from the cranky ones who just want to make a stink.

*Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics. … In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find events, lists and to talk with other Yelpers. Every business owner (or manager) can setup a free account to post photos and message their customers. (

**I have to credit the wonderful Bitchy Waiter for this one. Go check out his website ( and you will laugh your butt right off. He’s so funny that you may need to pee first.

***Moxie’s flavor is unique, as it is not as sweet as most modern soft drinks and is described by some as bitter. Moxie is flavored with gentian root extract, an extremely bitter substance which was reputed to possess medicinal properties. It originated around 1876 as a patent medicine called “Moxie Nerve Food.” (From Wikipedia)

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